The Problem With How We Define ‘Success’

Angelina Litvin
Angelina Litvin

Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

You are not your thoughts, emotions, or your perception. You are the silent still space behind.

Most people consciously cannot jump to the conclusion that they are the still space behind, but for most, within suffering they are able to most effectively find this place. Pain is an opening for awareness. Everybody has the capability to find this place, either from pain or pleasure. Sometimes intense emotions make it more obvious, but regardless it is still there.

You don’t need to go searching, instead embrace the stillness. Meditation is great for finding stillness within oneself, but, meditation may not be wholly adequate to go beyond form. Being able to tap into the still silent place behind your thoughts, emotions and stories, creates space. A sacred space where you are beyond form but still grounded in the now. This brings about greater awareness because you no longer are connected with your immediate thoughts but the observer behind the thoughts, and as a result you are no longer attached to the highs and lows of physical reality.

The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but our thoughts about the situation. Traditional happiness comes from when our identity is fulfilled in the external world to match the internal expectations that we have created in our inner world of our thoughts.

Situations really are meaningless, neutral and story free. Nothing has built-in inherent meaning.

Everything is a matter of perception

Reality is fundamentally neutral, it is then determined by the individual to what they do with the situation and the meaning that they assign to it. The problem with our society is that we don’t think about anything anymore because we are programmed in a direct way to think certain thoughts and associate emotions with certain images. We even put ‘success’ into a certain category, rich, skinny, popular, hot, sexy, attractive and so on.

Most people would agree that in order to be successful you must be rich. However, success is independent for each person, and what one person perceives as happiness and in turn success, should never be the same for another. So many of us have lost ourselves, so much so that the programming of the world and external events has essentially taken over, and wired our thinking to associate certain words with certain feelings.

The problem is not in achieving success or even wanting success, but the problem is in the identity that we have created surrounding what we feel ‘so called success is’. Success can never be defined in the form of an outcome or situation, but it is an inner feeling that arises not from the identity in the external world but from the still silent space of comfortable peace and knowingness that we hold in the present moment.

However overlooked and unentertaining this may sound. The reality is that most people do achieve the level of success that they desire, only to move on to the next goal immediately. The more, better, best paradigm is old, outdated, and serves no-one. The reality is, you don’t need to continually set and achieve goals to be happy.

Happiness can and should be found here and now, once you are within that comfortable space, you should move forward not based on goals and expectations but based on your feelings, in particular how you feel in each moment. Within this space you will be able to tap into a deeper connection, a part of all that is. Without judgment or condemnation. It is the silent space of the observer behind form that gives us an eternal and unwavering happiness. One that, so few words can accurately describe and even so fewer people find.

Today, give yourself a break, slow down, breathe and don’t strive for your goals, nor for the happiness from their attainment, strive for nothing nobler than a settled mind in the present moment. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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